MMP Responsive Nanoparticles for Treating Acute Myocardial Infarction

Project: Research project

Project Details


Despite recent advances, heart failure (HF) continues to be the leading cause of death in the U.S., and the rest of the western world. Approximately 37% of myocardial infarction (MI) patients will die from HF within 1 year, and of those who do survive, two-thirds do not make a complete recovery. Each year it is estimated that ~550K Americans will have a new MI, and ~200K will have a recurrent MI, leading to a large body of patients suffering from HF.1 Therefore, our long-term goal is the development of new, minimally invasive, targeted biomaterial based therapies for the treatment of acute MI (AMI), thereby limiting the number of patients that progress to HF. Recently there has been significant progress in the development injectable biomaterials that stimulate endogenous repair on their own or through the controlled release of additional therapeutics.2-4 This approach is attractive since potential therapies could be delivered minimally invasively via catheter, would be off the shelf and cost-effective, and in the case of therapeutic delivery, would provide targeted delivery limiting systemic off-target effects that plague traditional pharmaceuticals.2 However, the approach of direct injection of these biomaterials (either through minimally invasive surgery or percutaneous transendocardial injection) is unlikely to be translated to acute MI patients because of serious safety concerns with the injection procedures, thereby missing a critical therapeutic window. Together, the PIs have developed a new biomaterials based approach for delivering therapeutics that would obviate the need for direct injection into the heart, which could enable intracoronary infusion, a procedure that is possible at the time of MI, or even less invasive intravenous (IV) injection.5 This approach involves the use of enzyme-responsive peptide-polymer amphiphilic nanoparticles, which respond to matrix metalloproteineases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) that are upregulated in heart post-MI. The nanoparticles undergo a morphological transition from spherical-shaped, discrete materials to scaffold like, micron assemblies when acted upon by MMPs. We previously showed that 15-20 nm, responsive nanoparticles can be injected IV, undergoing reaction with MMPs in an acute rat infarct, with the resulting assemblies remaining within the infarct for up to 28 days,5 unlike non-responsive nanoparticle systems that are typically rapidly cleared from target tissue.6-10 While this previous work demonstrated proof-of-concept for the use of MMP-responsive nanoparticles for the targeted delivery and retention in an acute MI, the polymeric nanoparticles were non-degradable, which would limit translation. In this proposal, we aim to develop translatable, degradable systems as well as demonstrate proof-of-concept for using this novel biomaterial platform for the targeted delivery of therapeutics for acute MI. We hypothesize that degradable MMP-responsive polymer nanoparticles can safely and effectively target and deliver therapeutics to an acute MI, thereby preventing the onset of HF. This proposal will therefore address the following specific aims:
Effective start/end date9/1/178/30/22


  • University of California, San Diego (97966869 (S9001870)//5R01HL139001-04)
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (97966869 (S9001870)//5R01HL139001-04)


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